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Summit on Life Science

By From the Lowell Sun

Sun Staff Report

LOWELL -- Life science industry leaders met yesterday at UMass Lowell to outline opportunities for the sector's growth by focusing on higher education initiatives and public-private partnerships in Lowell and the surrounding area.

The event, sponsored by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, MassMEDIC and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, was held at the Wannalancit Mill.

The event brought together biotechnology and medical device companies in the region, as well as academic institutions and health care organizations.

The meeting was one in a series of discussions being held across the state with the goal of helping companies and industry partners in all regions of Massachusetts access resources made available by the $1 billion Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative (LSI) signed into law in June of last year.

"As we go through one of the toughest economic situations this industry has seen, we can no longer rely on just the traditional methods of funding life-saving innovation," Robert K. Coughlin, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, said in a prepared statement. "We are grateful to Gov. Deval Patrick, the Legislature and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for the opportunities presented in the Life Sciences Initiative and are working hard to help our member companies take full advantage in order to grow jobs in the industry and meet unmet medical needs."

Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, said events like yesterday's are important.

"These regional forums have been an important part of our effort to be accessible, and to incorporate stakeholder feedback into our work at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center," she said. "As stewards of the state's $1 billion investment in the life sciences, our mission is to create jobs, drive innovation and support good science, and there are numerous opportunities to move that mission forward in the Merrimack Valley."